The Year of the Dragon: Chinese New Year Decorations & Food in Chinatown

Chinatown is so lively, and you should head there to check it out at least once. Saw dragons everywhere. On angpow packets, in cutesy soft toy form and made with paper as decoration to welcome the New Year. The year of the dragon will start on 23 January. On Monday the 22nd most companies will have half days as those celebrating Chinese New Year will be having their reunion dinners in the evening. Tuesday will be the first day of Chinese New Year and Wednesday the 24th will be a holiday as well. I am guessing most people will take leave for the whole week. For tourists, try to come before this period as during Chinese New Year most shops will be closed. You can still probably get your prata fix if you’re hungry and I think fast food chains will be open.

The red of the dragon looks fantastic, really popping against the hot blue sky.

photo by bookjunkie

Will look even more fabulous when the streets are lit up at night. A great time to come visit Singapore.

photo by bookjunkie

Even though I was hot and uncomfortable as I was walking through the markets, away from the sun and in the comfort of my chair, everything looks so pretty. Yeah blogging makes it worth while to suffer some discomfort. It might not be so bad for you if you like it warm, but I did see some tourist look like they were having a heat stroke. Felt sorry for them. That’s because the market is not really sheltered. The sun beats down on you, but you can take occasional shelter in the surrounding stores.

photo by bookjunkie

I like this shot of old low rise buildings in the foregrounds and high rise skyscrapers in the background. This was the awesome view from the Chinatown Complex car park (parking garage).

photo by bookjunkie

Loads of old buildings here.

photo by bookjunkie

The clustered clay coloured roofs make a pretty picture.

photo by bookjunkie

Whenever I come to the market at Chinatown Complex I like having the Chee Cheong fun stuffed with turnip. It’s so yummy.

photo by bookjunkie

photo by bookjunkie

Chinatown Complex leads into the CNY Fair that is up every year.

photo by bookjunkie

I also love the S’ban Siew Pao (S’ban referring to Seramban in Malaysia). The round char siew one is tastier than the chicken I think. The only problem is the stall is located within a coffee shop where the owners are not very friendly. The lady selling the pao is much nicer. It seems like there is some friction between them? I really am not sure, but it seems that way. I find the coffee shop people who serve the food kinda rude, even though we order drinks from them and only sit down for 5 minutes. I think this attitude is pretty lousy. Anyone else encounter this?

photo by bookjunkie

photo by bookjunkie

photo by bookjunkie

Next to Chinatown Complex on the other side is another department store that is chaotic and noisy and filled with cheap DVDs which look fake to me but I think they are not? Around this area there were stalls set up too.

photo by bookjunkie

photo by bookjunkie

A gourd is for good fortune.

photo by bookjunkie

And then B thought he saw Steve Jobs. He was using an iPhone too. Perhaps wishful thinking, but everytime I think that Steve Jobs is not with us, I feel sad. What talent we’ve lost. I guess this is like people sighting Elvis? We just can’t let go.

photo by bookjunkie

Thought these pink olive shaped lanterns were just so pretty.

photo by bookjunkie

photo by bookjunkie

The Chinatown MRT is located right smack in the middle of all the action.

photo by bookjunkie

I guess this is where PM Lee will be seated during the official opening of the festivities.  The River Hongbao 2012 will be at Marina Bay from 21-29 Jan, noon to night. From 1 Jan – 21 Feb Chinatown will be buzzing.

photo by bookjunkie

Cartoon like friendly dragons everywhere. These are not fire-breathing ones that you read about in Western mythology that need to be defeated by a knight. Dragons in China are a symbol of good fortune and prosperity.

photo by bookjunkie

Artificial cherry blossoms are part of the decoration. But I think you can get real ones too.

photo by bookjunkie

A traditional styled paper dragon that I used to love seeing as a kid in the 70’s. I much preferred the dragon dance over the lion dance. There was something about it that was very thrilling to a tiny tot.

photo by bookjunkie

more in Part 2.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore helps me survive the mid-life crisis
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4 Responses to The Year of the Dragon: Chinese New Year Decorations & Food in Chinatown

  1. Laura says:

    Love the shots from the car park of the old and the new side by side.

  2. Crystal says:

    I bought those cartoon dragons! (sorry, I accidentally posted this comment in your previous post, I think…not sure what button I hit to do that)

  3. Pingback: Gong Xi Fa Cai | dianeinsingapore

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